Sunday, January 27, 2013

Review: Tropico 4 (4/5)

I wasn't expecting that much from this game going into it because it was only sort of well reviewed on Metacritic and was fairly unheard of. My friend Zac had recommended it ages ago, and well the steam holiday sale was going on so I thought "no way this is as good as SimCity but I'll give it a shot." Well I was wrong. It is as good as SimCity, if not better. They are fairly different games at the end of the day though mostly because of Tropico's setting. You are a dictator of your own little island and you can control every aspect of it from building things to politics.You can also issue edicts such as "Contraception Ban," improving your respect with the religious faction, but lowering it from other factions. There's also ways to interact with foreign powers by doing things like trade missions with the US or USSR that will make one like you more and the other less.

Things I liked:
  • Great sense of humor, lots of hilarious jokes and jabs about dictators and communism
  • Good variety of buildings
  • Campaign mode is quite long and kept missions varied, interesting, and funny with different scenarios (I only got about halfway through)
  • Islands varied in difficulty based on the amount of resources available and frequency of natural disasters. 
  • No zones mechanic like in SimCity. I really like how I get to choose exactly what to build, although this can lead to tedious micromanaging at times. 
Things I didn't like:
  • Organization of building menu was often confusing and the interface and controls could've been a bit better. 
  • How to use some buildings and edicts was often not explained well
  • Normal speed is too slow. Fortunately there are 2 and 3x speed settings. Unfortunately these are both often still too slow. I always played at 3x. 
  • Missing some useful mechanics like being able to upgrade several buildings at once or building wider roads for more traffic. Traffic was often a problem on my islands.
Hours Played: 25
Final Score: 4/5

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Review: Prototype 2 (1/5)

You know I feel like I haven't reviewed enough games I didn't like. Here's one though. Instead of buying Prototype 2 just go ahead and buy the original Prototype. It was a very fun game with a decent plot. I was hoping the sequel would be like the first one and just be more of the same kind of free form gameplay. And it was, but it was almost exactly the same. In the few hours I spent with the game I felt as if they had added nothing to the gameplay, and even somehow made it worse. In addition to that the plot didn't seem to make very much sense and was pretty boring. The plot in the first one was a fairly simple zombie kind of story but it had some unique points and it was told in an exciting way. They tried to do the same thing in Prototype 2 but it really didn't work out. Don't buy this game. If you are interested in the gameplay style just buy the original Prototype. I never wrote a review for it but I'd give it 3/5.

Final Score: 1/5